Today is my birthday. And so I did what I must do every year on my birthday. Haul my body up Black Mountain to prove that age is only a number.
It was a hard climb. Cursing the fact that I have an August birthday.
114 blasted degrees and humid. My lungs burned and my legs pulled hard. I anxiously anticipated the climb over that last ridge where I knew I could stop at the top.
I found a rock and sat. Pondering where I’d been and where I was in life. Certainly I’d learned a few things over the years.
As I poured a bottle of water down my face and into my mouth, I overheard two men at the top discussing the difficulty of the hike. They compared their athletic abilities, best hiking times and joked about the heat. As they stood up to head down the trail, one turned to the other and said,
“I always tell everybody that I just have to catch you.”
Oh – the years we spend in the chase …
I smiled and remembered.
In my 20’s, the pie in the sky was catching “the one.” That college degree. And then catching the break that would land me in a fulfilling career.
My 30’s were spent catching the American dream. That bigger house and a new car to haul the kids around would be the icing on the cake. Keeping up with the Jones’ pulled on my better senses.
My 40’s were spent trying to catch my teenagers. Endless soccer tournaments. You’re going to whose house? I don’t think so. What time will you be home? Remember who you are ... and your curfew.
Now in my 50’s I’m chasing different things.
Peace. Joy. Wisdom.
New insight gained from years of falling down and getting back up again. And learning from it.
I suppose we’re all trying to catch the same thing.
In all its many forms …
Depending where we are in life, we are physically, emotionally and spiritually trying to get a piece of it. Knowing that we’ll never quite make it. Always fall short. Never quite measure up.
There’s always a bigger house – a cooler car – a better body. And always a mistake.
Will we ever catch it?
His sacrifice made up the difference. We all received the possibility of perfection in the Garden.
But it’ll be a hike. We must do our part.
Ups and downs. Celebration and disappointment and everything in between all wrapped up in a box that is opened again and again.
So I’ll pick myself up and try again tomorrow. That’s the Plan.
Every day a new start. A new hike. A chance to be just a little bit better.
Who or what are you trying to catch? Where do you direct your energy?
There’s one thing I’ve learned in 54 years that I feel quite certain about.
Focus is critical. Despite all of life’s distractions, I need to point toward something or someone who has my best interest at heart.
Someone who will make up all the difference. Someone whose words will never lead me astray. Someone who will help me find those three things I’m looking for.
There’s really only one person worth chasing.